Rocket/Druckery Invite Recap
Cross country is the ultimate team sport. In the span of 15 or so minutes, it's up to each man to overcome any doubts and seek additional discomfort in their pursuit of improvement. But the underlying motivation that pushes a man past his own limitations is the power of the team. One man left to his own mind will never be as powerful as the men that rely on each other for inspiration in finding that extra gear as the race progresses. Every person matters in what type of energy gets created at practices and on race day.
This past Saturday the men in the first race set a great tone, showing improved aggression to start the race and coming away with some solid races en route to a 3rd place finish. Frank Bevsek broke up the top 5 by placing 5th overall and was followed by his teammate Chase Witty who broke out with his best race of the season. Chase gave himself that chance to succeed by taking a risk and putting himself up front earlier. Sam Walder and Deven Eiler did a nice job setting the tone early for the pack behind Frank and held on to be our 3 and 4 man, while David Bevsek slowly moved his way up in the race to finish as a solid 5th scorer. The freshmen duo of Elijah Sayeg and John Gruichich ran together and pushed each other the whole way and have shown great potential in the sport. Both can be great if they choose to be over the next four years including running each day over the long off seasons where athletes go from good to great. Kai Bruner made some more strides as our other freshman in the field and is just starting to find his way in this sport. A love along with a desire to improve are two of the recipes to success and pursuing no limits, and this freshmen group seems to be developing in both of those areas.
It is very important for all of these young men to see the long term vision of the sport of running. The success of the team depends on growing together and being process focused. Not every meet is going to go perfect, but progress is happening nonetheless. In 2018 when I took the head coaching role at Hale, there was some detachment from seeing the success of some other programs. Many thought they had something that we didn't, but it turns out that wasn't true. The only thing we were missing was a belief in what we stood for and where we could go. We had to believe we were great before we could actually be great. In that 2018 year, the men built a belief and it spread through the entire team, leading them to qualifying for the state meet. In 2019 they came back again finishing as the 15th place team in the state. The point of this is that just because a team that beat you on an early September day and looked unbeatable on that day means nothing. We can compete with any team and believing in the process and taking the steps to get there as a team are what will make that statement a reality.
The second race gun fired and our men took it in great position. Alex White and Collin Raschka appropriately set themselves in the front of the race, being two of the top three men in the field based on the first few weeks of the season. Parker Szura put himself up there this week while Jack and Carson weren't too far behind. Our starts were very solid and through about halfway we were primed for a great day. After coming out of the 2nd woods section after the mile, our men were hanging on a bit rather than moving up like early in the race. In looking at the mile splits, we can see an area of improvement will be in the middle mile. We have been building really nicely this year and are excited to see where we can improve through practice this next few weeks. The 3rd mile will always come down to the will power of the guys on the team and running for one another, but that second mile we will build on our fitness with some sustained tempo work and more racing experience.
Alex and Collin finished as our top two once again and certainly are excited to bounce back. They have had some fantastic training and put in great weeks. We would expect a bump in racing about this time of year with all of the work we are putting in, so to still lead the team to a 2nd place finish on off days is really nothing to be disappointed about. I was proud with their start up front and they will continue growing confident in leading races. Parker and Jack made some nice jumps in their progressions and are ready to have a huge breakthrough this week! Carson and Dylen rounded out our team scoring. The entire team will help push our 1-5 (whomever those men are) to be faster and faster, so continue seeking your personal best to help the team!
Results and notes can be found on the Rocket Invite tab,
2021 Hale XC Results.
The week ahead
This week the men will have TWO meet days. The freshmen will race Thursday and everyone on our entire team will be dismissed from class at 2:30 p.m. Due to bus issues, our district is giving us the two vans so Coach Dewitt and I can drive 14 athletes to the meet (including the freshmen racing of course) but are looking for some athletes or parents to drive to Arrowhead High School so we can get the whole team there to support. Non racers will do a run around Arrowhead that day while supporting our freshmen when they race.
Saturday we will all travel to Tendick Park with bus time at 7:30 a.m. Freshmen this day will come do their run at the course there and support the rest of the guys competing. It should be a fun opportunity to freshmen to get into an all freshmen race at a fun course at Arrowhead.
Thursday Frosh Meet Info
Saturday Marquette Meet Info
Parents, I should be getting any parent fan shirts this week. We are also excited as we have had a few additional members to the team, so welcome to Hale Cross Country! We are encouraging guys to ask friends out to the team after having less communication over the prior year. I owe some guys some Oscar's coupons and eventually a tshirt to anyone who gets someone to join in.
We are yet to have a pasta party host for the next few weeks so let me know if anyone wanted to host! Here's the link,